Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our Week in Review


We had an amazing week in Colima.  It was a week that touched the hearts of every member of the team as we contributed about 600 hours of labor to jobs around the orphanage and, most importantly, shared countless smiles and hugs!

In addition, the CenterPoint team was grateful to bring a ton of donations to Hogar de Amor, including:

  • Over $7,300 in project supplies and cash donations
  • 587 pairs of socks and underwear
  • 151 tubes of toothpaste
  • 201 toothbrushes
  • 381 packs of crayons
  • 121 coloring books
  • 56 bath towels
  • 79 washcloths
  • 170 hand towels, kitchen towels, and dish rags

Wow!

Thanks again to everybody who was a part of this trip - those who supported the trip financially, who prayed faithfully for the trip, who stayed in the U.S. and kept homes running while the team was away, and who donated supplies for the kids of Hogar de Amor. Your support means so much to us and to them.

Reflections from Mexico - Sasha

i got to spend a week in mexico with people and my family to help an orphanage. in the morning we would do activity's with the kids for about two hours. there were three stations sports, crafts ,and games. after that we did are jobs, like we did screens, making curtains, curtain rods to hang the curtains on. we made a patio we painted the roof and the walls we did electricity on the security lights. we made a door for the apartment the house parents lived in. we made a new sink we got rid of some old toys and sorted clothes.

Leading activities
Enjoying lunch

after that at around 4:00 or 4:30 we walked back to the hotel some of us would hop in the pool and then we would either go out on certain days or have market meals. one day we went down town to a mall and we could by stuff. i bought a bracelet a churro and some ice-cream and earrings. and we left there around four a clock on Wednesday night we had a party with a pinata. and after we had cake because it was my moms birthday. after we ate cake we did worship karen taught them a lesson then we prayed then we went back to the hotel.

on friday we always say by to the orphanage then go to the beach for 2:00 hours then we head back to the orphanage and on saturday we pack up and we hang out until the bus comes. we ride the bus to the airport then we take the plane back to utah!

oh yay! one more thing the trip felt very special to me because i never got to spend time in a orphanage with kids before and i learned that since the kids don't have families its very special to them that people come down to them an spend time with them. it means a lot of them. one of the cool things in mexico is that i met a girl named maria jose and esmerelda got along with me very fast.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Reflections from Mexico - Jamie

The most powerful part of our relationship with Hogar de Amor has been watching how my heart, my family, and our relationships have grown and changed over the past five years. It astounds me to realize that my youngest son, Ben, has been visiting Hogar de Amor every year for over a third of his life!
9-year-old Ben at Hogar de Amor in 2012
13-year-old Ben still loves to play with the kids at Hogar de Amor!


Every year, I get more joy and deep satisfaction out of our relationships with the staff and caregivers of Hogar de Amor. 

Keep in mind that I am a card-carrying, Type A achiever. I'm a doer. I'm always busy, always producing, always striving. There's some great stuff about those personality traits - I think one has to be a bit (more than a bit?) hyper-organized to successfully bring 28 people to Mexico and home again. But there's some junk that comes along with it.

Over the years, God has redirected my heart and energy away from what we "do" in Mexico. I still relish bringing down scads of donations. I still enjoy fixing stuff around the houses and working hard to make the orphanage more pleasant and more functional for everybody who lives there. But the reality is that the curtains we sew will need to be replaced in a couple of years and the walls we repaint will get scuffed again. What we "produce" in Mexico just doesn't last.

What lasts are the relationships we forge. Seeing the faces of the church staff light up when they see us because we've built a foundation of respect and support for their ministry - that lasts. Being a familiar face to the kids and giving them some fun, special childhood memories - that lasts. Telling the caregivers through our words and actions that they are loved, supported, prayed for, and valued in good times and in hard times - that lasts. Bonding together as a team and experiencing deep community with the CenterPoint folks - that matters. Worshiping together with our Mexican brothers and sisters, praying together, crying out to God together, and experiencing what it means to be the worldwide body of Christ - that lasts.

I'm a doer. Verses like 1 John 3:18 make sense to me:
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

What God's doing in my life is adding to my "doing" a deeper understanding of verses like 1 Corinthians 13:13:
Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.
It's not the action that lasts forever, it's the love - the relationship.

I am so grateful that at Hogar de Amor I get to be a blessing to the team, the kids, the caregivers, and the church staff. And I am so grateful that I get to be blessed and changed by the depth of the relationships that God has made possible in that amazing place.

Reflections from Mexico - Lee and Cindy

Early in the fall of 2016 Cindy and I were presented with the opportunity to fulfill one of our “Bucket List” goals, serving a mission where we’re doing work and experiencing what it means to love others as Christ would. Some friends and family thought we were crazy to have this as a “Bucket List” goal, but as they’ve heard the stories and seen the photos some have said they’d like to join us if we do it again, we say WHEN WE GO AGAIN.

We spent eight days traveling, working on building projects, repairing facilities, getting to know some orphans and caregivers, and experiencing God’s love to an extent we did not expect. Seeing the caregivers giving all they have to the children was a beautiful thing. Our preexisting thoughts of orphanages were of caregivers just doing their jobs and trying to get through the day. The caregivers at Hogar de Amor truly LOVE these children and invest their lives making the children's lives full and with hope for the future. We found out that children do not “age” out at 18 years old, the orphanage remains invested in their lives and help some of them through furthering education.

This being our first experience visiting Hogar de Amor we were instilled with a love for the children, caregivers, and a desire to spend more time there. While we were there I met one couple that went down planning to spend a month there, and now 13 years later they are still there. We feel that spending time there changes your perspective on life.

Reflections from Mexico - Mark

Over the last couple of years we have experienced some very difficult and low times in our lives. We have had to take time to grieve this, rest and wait on the Lord. I believe God has begun to bring us to a time of new beginnings and building new.

I felt quite deeply that there was something in Mexico that I would find or that I would encounter the Lord and his help with some of the unanswered questions or empty parts I've still had. He did not disappoint, but I realized encountering Him there was not about me, which was so awesome! I saw how much love He has for our brothers and sisters in Mexico, their hospitality toward us, His love of all of the children who are more like our own than one can imagine until you meet them. I was overwhelmed by joy and I guess recognizing that He was there with us, that He was there all of the time. I fell in love with it all and especially the little kids.

I am so grateful for His mercy and how he took such good care of us all while we were there and let us taste of His goodness and some deliciousness only Mexico can give. :)

I guess in a beautiful way my heart was broken to see His beauty and how Jesus holds everyone at Hogar de Amor in His hands!

I am taking away that Jesus has a new beginning for us all, in His perfect time, when the most difficult things in this life try to take us down. I am going to invest in learning some Spanish this year, anticipating the 2018 trip and I'm praying about serving in children's church with the little kids. :)

We are so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this trip!!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Reflections from Mexico - Julie

Sometimes words are hard to find. Especially how to sum up a week at Hogar de Amor. There is a song that comes to my mind:
For the children of the world
Every single boy and girl
Heaven plants a special seed
And we must have faith for these

Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in the Father's eyes
Like the Father, may we see
That they have a destiny

And give them the light of love to lead
through the darkness around us now
To a place where hope is found.
It brings such joy to spend a short week with these special little ones. We leave better people then when we arrive. God is so very evident in the lives of the kids and caregivers and it is a privilege to witness His loving hand touching lives.

I am grateful for lessons learned and the opportunity to play and connect with the children of Hogar de Amor. They fill my heart to the brim :)

Another wonderful trip!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Reflections from Mexico - Rex and Lensie

Once again Rex and I have been blessed by our Heavenly Father. What unspeakable joy to serve the people of Mexico. The Colima team from Utah was also a great pleasure to serve alongside.

I am always overwhelmed by humanity's love for one another, when we walk by the measure of faith given to us. Oneness is the Father’s greatest desire for us all. Working and serving along side of the team the Lord assembled was refreshing. We all came together as the body of Christ. Praise the Lord!

One of our favorite things is the be with the kids. Seeing their hearts opening to complete strangers. Seeing how the Holy Spirit connects our hearts with theirs is amazing. The party with the kids is always a highlight of the week.

The week goes by so quickly. You wish that you could take everyone home with you. Or to stay longer and forge those relationships more. Time is a short commodity here, especially when you have a young boy Aldo following us all the way to the van, and standing there just looking and wanting us not to leave him. If that don’t give you a love for humanity I don’t know what will! Bless the Lord oh my soul! Our hearts are changed forever! Thank you Jesus! Then Edjar the little boy with the broken arm, I know he treasures the hat Rex gave him. And the little girl Anayeli who put a heart sticker over her face on the photo. We know love is all that is needed. So blessed to know our Heavenly Father loves us so much!

Also Josue and his mother Isabella, whom we had the privilege to serve and bond with in Palmarito at La Familia home. You never forget the heart of a child.

Now that we have returned home to the states and our homes, my prayer is the team will remember to pray for the children and caregivers. Ponder the orphans and widows all over the world. Jesus said he would never leave us as orphans. And now these three things will last forever faith, hope, and love and the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:13).

We are so grateful for everyone the Lord has put in our lives. Our own mattress too!

Birds of a feather flock together.

Love to All! God is good!